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Title: Short heatwaves during fluctuating incubation regimes produce females under temperature-dependent sex determination with implications for sex ratios in nature

Abstract

Patterns of temperature fluctuations in nature affect numerous biological processes, yet, empirical studies often utilize constant temperature treatments. This can limit our understanding of how thermally sensitive species respond to ecologically relevant temperatures. Research on turtles with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) provides good examples of this, since nest temperatures from many populations rarely exceed those necessary to produce females under constant laboratory conditions. We hypothesized that exposure to brief periods of warm temperatures (i.e., heat waves) are integral to sex determination in species with TSD, which requires tests that move beyond constant temperatures. We exposed Trachemys scripta embryos from multiple populations and across the nesting season to heat waves of variable durations and quantified sex ratios. We found that embryos from all populations were highly sensitive to brief exposures to female producing temperatures; only 7.9 days of exposure produced a 50:50 sex ratio, but the response varied across the nesting season. From these findings, a model was developed to estimate sex ratios from field temperature traces, and this model outperformed traditional methods. Altogether, these results enhance our understanding of TSD and emphasize the importance of using biologically relevant temperatures when studying thermally sensitive processes.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of Georgia’s Savanah River Ecology Lab, Aiken, SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1500118
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC09-07SR22506
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Carter, A. W., Sadd, B. M., Tuberville, T. D., Paitz, R. T., and Bowden, R. M. Short heatwaves during fluctuating incubation regimes produce females under temperature-dependent sex determination with implications for sex ratios in nature. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17708-0.
Carter, A. W., Sadd, B. M., Tuberville, T. D., Paitz, R. T., & Bowden, R. M. Short heatwaves during fluctuating incubation regimes produce females under temperature-dependent sex determination with implications for sex ratios in nature. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17708-0.
Carter, A. W., Sadd, B. M., Tuberville, T. D., Paitz, R. T., and Bowden, R. M. Mon . "Short heatwaves during fluctuating incubation regimes produce females under temperature-dependent sex determination with implications for sex ratios in nature". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17708-0. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1500118.
@article{osti_1500118,
title = {Short heatwaves during fluctuating incubation regimes produce females under temperature-dependent sex determination with implications for sex ratios in nature},
author = {Carter, A. W. and Sadd, B. M. and Tuberville, T. D. and Paitz, R. T. and Bowden, R. M.},
abstractNote = {Patterns of temperature fluctuations in nature affect numerous biological processes, yet, empirical studies often utilize constant temperature treatments. This can limit our understanding of how thermally sensitive species respond to ecologically relevant temperatures. Research on turtles with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) provides good examples of this, since nest temperatures from many populations rarely exceed those necessary to produce females under constant laboratory conditions. We hypothesized that exposure to brief periods of warm temperatures (i.e., heat waves) are integral to sex determination in species with TSD, which requires tests that move beyond constant temperatures. We exposed Trachemys scripta embryos from multiple populations and across the nesting season to heat waves of variable durations and quantified sex ratios. We found that embryos from all populations were highly sensitive to brief exposures to female producing temperatures; only 7.9 days of exposure produced a 50:50 sex ratio, but the response varied across the nesting season. From these findings, a model was developed to estimate sex ratios from field temperature traces, and this model outperformed traditional methods. Altogether, these results enhance our understanding of TSD and emphasize the importance of using biologically relevant temperatures when studying thermally sensitive processes.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-17708-0},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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